Mina Hanin’s confidence grew out of the challenges he faced leading up to his studies at UCR.
As a teenager, Hanin moved from Egypt to the U.S., where he learned to speak English fluently for the first time. After being attacked by a group of religious extremists, Hanin’s family fled to the U.S., leaving their lives in Cairo behind.
The eldest of three children, Hanin helped his family adjust to their new lives. In his first year at UCR, his family had only one car, and transportation to and from classes was difficult. But a political uprising discouraged his return to Egypt, and he did not let a license, nor any other challenges, hinder his opportunities.
“I learned to step outside of my comfort zone, take risks, learn something new, and succeed,” Hanin said.
During his formative years in Cairo living in political strife, Hanin said he came to understand the importance of politics and how it connects all aspects of society.
At UCR, Hanin is a political science major whose research focuses on the political unrest and violence that encourages large numbers of emigrants to leave their homes in Latin America and the Middle East. He studies politics at the city, county, and national levels and how each feed the global political landscape. This year, he presented his work to University of California President Janet Napolitano and state legislators at the Undergraduate Research Showcase in Sacramento.
“The challenges I had in the beginning made me the person I am today. The more challenges you face, the more you understand the world,” Hanin said.
Hanin is a University Honors program ambassador and was named valedictorian for the Honors program and for the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS). He has taught an Honors course and is an editor for Audeamus, the award-winning UCR multidisciplinary journal.
Hanin is also a justice for the Associated Students of UCR, and the undergraduate representative for the Academic Senate’s Committee on Educational Policy. He’s graduating with honors and a 3.93 GPA. Hanin had internships with Inland Counties Legal Services, The County Counsel of Riverside, and as a legislative fellow for state Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside).
This year, Hanin received the Academic Excellence award for Political Science and received the Outstanding Achievement award for CHASS. He was selected to speak at the CHASS and the University Honors program’s commencement ceremonies.
Hanin’s sister, Monica, is a rising junior studying biology at UCR, and his brother, Mark, will begin his studies in biology at UCR next fall.
After graduation, Hanin will be a state legislative aide in the California Senate Fellows program, and then pursue a law degree and a career in public policy.
“I am passionate about helping others, especially those who are underrepresented minorities. This is what motivates me to work beyond my maximum abilities to achieve my ultimate dream of becoming a lawyer,” Hanin said.